Foody Drive 2.0: San Diego Soccer Community will Soon Unite for World Cup Watch Parties and Food Drives
With Russia 2018 set to start this week, countless soccer-loving San Diegans have now caught World Cup fever.
Regardless of the absence of the U.S. Men’s National Team in the tournament, many of us will still be keeping a close eye on the biggest sporting event on the planet. Staying true to San Diego stereotypes, we will also be eager to find some bars to have a pint or two (no more than three) while watching the beautiful game.
Although there is a long list of local pubs, restaurants and bars that will host World Cup watch parties, only a handful will be taking it to another level by incorporating a food drive as well in the festivities.
For the upcoming tournament, the incredibly-named Foody McFoody Face organization has teamed up with the San Diego Original Supporters Group and The Greys to create “Foody Drive 2.0 & World Cup Watch Party Madness.”
For some who might not be up to date with the local soccer scene, you might be asking yourself what exactly I just said.
Luckily, we have a representative from Foody McFoody Face who can help clear some things up.
“The Foody McFoody Face idea was born in the DMs after a group of people were brainstorming ideas on how to stay involved in the community,” said Marisa Cali, who helped create the initiative.
“The summer of 2017 witnessed the inception and organization of Foody McFoody Face’s first charity food drive, as we collected and raised funds for over 13,000 meals benefitting our partners at the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank. Inspired by the charitable works practiced by supporter groups across the globe, we felt that organizing events to give back was our mission, whether or not we had a soccer team to root for,” later added Cali.
This year, the group has amplified their efforts by incorporating World Cup watch parties with the food drive. In order to get this project off the ground, Foody McFoody Face will be helped by the two other aforementioned cooperatives: The San Diego Original Supporters Group and The Greys.
The San Diego Original Supporters Group, or OSG for short, is an independently-run fan group that supports the SoccerCity plan and the bid to bring MLS to San Diego. The Greys, on the other hand, have no ties or affiliation to certain clubs, national teams or leagues. Instead, their focus is local, which can be seen in one of their mission statements online: “We will fuel and nurture the growth of San Diego's soccer culture through organized acts of service, fundraisers, and education.”
With all three working in tandem, the World Cup watch parties will be hosted at five different venues over the next several weeks: Bluefoot, Thr3e Punk Ales, The Harp, Costa Brava and O’Briens.
All five venues will have bins for donations to the San Diego Food Bank, but only three will have the undisclosed “Madness” aspect of the event, something with which Foody McFoody Face is eager to highlight. What exactly the “Madness” entails is completely up in the air, but there’s no doubt that it’s something that local soccer fans won’t want to miss.
In the spirit of celebrating those three venues that will be hosting the more prominent “Madness” events, let's take a look at Thr3e Punk Ales, The Harp and Bluefoot.
Thr3e Punk Ales
259 3rd Avenue
Chula Vista, California 91910
The Chula Vista brewery, which will be open bright and early for this year’s World Cup, is now fully prepared for the World Cup with some team-specific shirts for the event.
Home to the San Diego Swans, a local supporters group for Swansea City AFC, Thr3e Punk is no stranger to hosting soccer watch parties.
Karl Hurlbert, a member of the San Diego Swans, had this to say about the brewery: “Thr3e Punk Ales, place defines your neighborhood brewery. You walk in and immediately feel at home. With the fresh air blowing in from the roll up door to the punk rock laden decor and music to the 120’ projector screen, there’s no doubt it’s the spot. Nothing like grabbing a Needle in the Hey IPA, bellying up with friends to watch some soccer and have a great time.”
4935 Newport Ave
San Diego, CA 92107
I would love talk about The Harp and its involvement with soccer, but I think it’ll probably be better if you hear it from Kevin Gallagher, who co-owns the establishment.
“We’ve shown soccer for the last 16 years. Truly love the beautiful game and just as in the regular EPL season, we will be open if there’s a request to do so. Even at 4am in the morning! Sitting there with a pot of coffee serving early breakfast for four people,” said Gallagher.
“We’re known in the soccer community in San Diego for our love of the game and had huge numbers for USA games, Champions League, EPL, El Clasico, MLS, etc. Various supporters groups including Everton, Tottenham, West Ham and Portland Timbers come in but really we encourage everyone as long as they want to enjoy the world’s sport,” later added the co-owner.
As someone who has visited a handful of times, I couldn’t have said it better myself. The Harp will be open for big matches, but as Gallagher stated, they’ll also be open for other smaller matches if requests are made.
All that said, in order to find out just a bit more about The Harp, I wanted to hear the thoughts from a local supporters group that have already hosted watch parties of their own at the venue.
Ben Forman, Chairman of the San Diego Spurs supporters group, had this to say about the Harp: “Pull up a seat at the bar, order up a delicious craft beer or a Guinness and strike up a conversation. The guys and gals that come here week in and week out to watch the Premier League really know their stuff.”
3404 30th St
San Diego, CA 92104
Bluefoot is a spot I know all too well. Due to the fact that it’s within walking distance of my home, I have been no stranger to the bar when it comes to the dropping by for sporting events. With reasonably-priced drinks and a wide selection of televisions, I’m going to happily make my way over at least a few times during the World Cup.
For those who don’t know, the bar is also home to San Diego’s Arsenal supporters group.
Luis Corrales, a member of the San Diego Gooners, had this to day about Bluefoot: “Bluefoot has a great vibe and the people there are mostly neighborhood folks that know their stuff and really enjoy football. It’s is a great location and if you don’t love their Palomas, there’s something wrong with you! Obviously I’m biased, but I love that it’s usually packed and the crowd really gets into the games and it’s infectious energy sucks you in. I’ll be watching all of El Tri’s matches there for sure!”
Beer, soccer and supporting the local food bank? Can't really go wrong there, just take your pick of your favorite venue. Hoping I get to see some of you out there for the World Cup!